On Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, host Guy Fieri has taken his Camaro SS convertible from coast to coast in search of America’s best eats at humble, little-known restaurants with big-time flavor. If you’re thinking of taking a culinary journey just like Guy, forget the DVR; we’ve got you covered with our list of places to go and dishes to order. Here’s our list of the restaurants Guy Fieri visited in San Diego.
Two brothers with years of fishing experience opened their own seafood restaurant in Mission Hills, with “All we do is fish" as their motto. Aside from the kid’s menu, seafood is still the only thing the restaurant serves, with grilling their medium of choice. And the customer gets a choice too: select a protein (different fish, shellfish, calamari), select a marinade (ginger butter, teriyaki, etc.), then select a preparation (sandwich, salad, bowl, plate). Blue Water also features seafood cocktails, chowders, oysters on the half shell and sashimi. All of the fish is caught locally and butchered in-house. We recommend the mahi mahi; you will not taste a fresher fish. Customers rave about the generous portions as well as the courteous counter service. Blue Water also has a small selection of local draft beers to complement the seafood. Blue Water Seafood is affordable dining that’s extremely popular with the locals, so get here early to avoid the lines.
Blue Water Seafood appeared on the Their Own Way episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
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This colorful Hillcrest area diner is open 24 hours, fueling a neighborhood that seeks quality eats around the clock. So have your breakfast for dinner and your dinner for breakfast; every dish is available anytime. Enjoy Mexican egg scrambles, huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos, or swing American with chicken apple hash or pork chops and eggs. Griddled fare gets creative with pumpkin gingerbread pancakes, French toast with three kinds of raisins and an extravagant crème brûlée French toast that takes breakfast to a whole new level. Lunch and dinner are a grab bag of Italian (pastas, ravioli), Mexican (quesadillas), vegetarian (steam basket, veggie chili) and burgers (more than a dozen different). The signature Butter Burger is a beef patty stuffed with a disc of herbed butter, then topped with another, letting it melt between the crusty surface and a slice of cheese on top. The assembled construction drips liquid onto the plate before the first bite is taken, then rains juices torrentially after. Like much of the menu, it’s an item that must be tried. Cousins Cecilia and Ruben Moreno have built a restaurant brimming with versatility, approachability, flavor and good cheer, so for a pick-me-up anytime, just look for the pink elephant mural and head on in.
Crest Café appeared on the Neighborhood Knockouts episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
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Just down the road from Blue Water Seafood in Mission Hills, this family-owned Mexican restaurant has been making authentic tortillas, taquitos, tamales and chile rellenos for more than seven decades. Owner Ralph Pescqueria uses family recipes handed down through the generations to deliver fresh, irresistible eats. He and his daughter make beans and guacamole daily from scratch, using fresh, high quality, preservative-free ingredients. The tacos are superb, but El Indio’s tortillas are the real stand out; they’re always fresh, often warm and sometimes thrown to the customers to snack on while in line. One of the highlights is El Indio’s salsa bar offering different flavors and heat levels to suit every taste. To complement your meal, El Indio also serves a small selection of American and Mexican beers. Awning covered patio tables outdoors provide much needed additional seating during peak hours.
El Indio appeared on the Family Owned episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
- Latest Review for El Indio Mexican Restaurant -
Just as the side of the building tells you, this Banker’s Hill coffee shop has been a San Diego landmark since 1944. Not much has changed since Hob Nob Hill opened, and there’s no reason to, because customers enjoy comfort food staples like cinnamon swirl French toast, chicken and dumplings and even Waldorf salad the same way they’ve always been. Almost everything is made from scratch, from the dumplings to the fresh muffins to the fall-apart corned beef that cures for seven days, made every day. But there’s not only a corned beef hash; Hob Nob Hill also has a roast beef hash. And three kinds of Benedicts, including crab. The crunchy-topped coffee cake, served warm, is another reason regulars insist Hob Nob Hill is San Diego’s best breakfast destination. It’s also a steady seller, so be sure to get here early to try this decadent treat. We can’t think of a better way to start the day.
Hob Nob Hill Restaurant appeared on the Just Like Yesterday episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
- Latest Review for Hob Nob Hill Restaurant -
This surfer-owned, surfing-themed burger joint with multiple locations in and around San Diego is especially popular with (you guessed it) surfers, who recharge on Hodad’s griddled greatness. There are no pretentions here, just fresh, never-frozen ground beef that make “sloppy, old fashioned, run down the side of your arm” hamburgers, according to owner Mike Hardin. The generosity of the toppings makes these burgers stand tall, which also makes them hard to eat, which is half the fun. This burger without pretense is not without innovation. Rather than strips, the bacon is formed into a burger-sized patty that gets griddled to a crisp and dropped in perfect alignment on top of the beef. Fries are more like wedges; crunchy, must-try onion rings are more like donuts. Creamy, hand-spun shakes are another must. Every location is different, but all exude a surf vibe and a cool, casual atmosphere with simple construction, unfinished floors, picnic table seating, funky art and walls filled with humorous posters, license plates, surfboards and surfing stickers. Hodad’s environment is as uplifting as its burgers.
Hodad’s appeared on the Seaside Eats episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
- Latest Review for Hodad's -
You will get some of the best burgers around at Hodad's. The burgers here are juicy, tasty, and huge. They are packed with lots of quality ingredients such as blue cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, lettuce, and sauce; it's just a magical combination. Their onion rings and potato wedges complement any meal well. It's no wonder why this place is a favorite to many.
(listing of the same restaurant)
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Ocean Beach’s favorite sake bar is also a favorite for pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup available in almost twenty different meat combinations. Beef up your bowl with rare steak, well done flank, tripe, meatball and chicken breast. Or even go vegetarian, because what makes this pho so compelling is the deep, aromatic flavor of the broth. OB Noodle House also has great drinking food, like fiery garlic wings that deliver good crunch and a bit of saltiness to perk things up beyond just the heat. The sizzling fish doesn’t have much sizzle, but the freshness of the fish and the myriad Asian flavors make it a winner. Come Tuesday for pork belly tacos, or any other day for Happy Hour specials on beers, mimosas and sakes. They even have Mexican and melon sakes.
OB Noodle House appeared on the All San Diego, All the Time episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
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With locations in North Park and Golden Hill, this New York style pizzeria is serving award winning pizza by the pie and by the slice. The thin crust pies are hand tossed and stretched 18 inches across to give them an authentic New York feel that demands slices being folded before being eaten. But “Luigi” isn’t just a made-up moniker; Italy-born owner Luigi Agostini pays attention to the details just as they do back home. The dough, tomato sauce and pesto sauce are all made daily in-house, used on the nearly two dozen pizza options. There’s more than just tired onion and pepper for the vegetarian; ingredients like artichokes, spinach, zucchini and squash keep things interesting. The meat-topped pies also tempt with combinations like ham, pear, caramelized onions and blue cheese on The Frenchy. For a change of pace, regulars occasionally bypass the pies to indulge in Luigi’s calzones, stromboli, lasagna, pastas and subs. But try the pizza first; it’s Guy Fieri’s West Coast favorite.
Pizzeria Luigi appeared on the Real Deal Italian episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
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This 24 hour diner in Kearny Mesa serves the entire menu any time of day, along with a little bit of Hollywood. It’s set on the former lot of Stu Segall Productions, San Diego’s largest movie and TV studio until 2010. Hence the name Studio Diner, which Segall now owns and decorates with studio signage, cameras and stage lighting. The plates and mugs have a film reel motif and the entire menu is a play on film set terminology. Segall is a transplanted Bostonian, so the diner carries New England seafood dishes like lobster rolls, clam chowder and clam rolls, made with whole belly bivalves shipped from Ipswich MA, birthplace of the fried clam. Look for all the diner classics with big flavors, with none bigger than their signature Monte Cristo: a battered, deep-fried sandwich of turkey, ham and cheese, topped with powdered sugar to make it more of a dessert. Philly cheesesteak gets a delicious second take with prime rib soaked in teriyaki. Studio Diner is fun and roomy, with even more room on a comfortable outdoor patio.
Studio Diner appeared on the Open 24/7 episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
- Latest Review for Studio Diner -
Moved in mid-2015 to more spacious digs two blocks from its original location, Crazee Burger turns the all-American on its head. German owners reinvented what the patty can be by bringing in meats like buffalo, lamb and boar, but they didn’t stop there. Ostrich, alligator, camel, duck, elk, venison, and kangaroo are all available with toppings that are just as game changing. Take the venison: its formidable gaminess is offset by sweet cream, bacon, mushrooms, plum jelly and a wine-infused pear sauce. Kangaroo burgers get you hopping with a horseradish cream sauce. We know what you’re thinking, but no; they don’t serve horse with radish sauce. At least not yet. Crazee Burger doesn’t serve shakes, but they do have traditional fries, onion rings and a rotating selection of American and European beers on tap.
Crazee Burger appeared on the Grabbin' a Sandwich episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
- Latest Review for Crazee Burger -